How to Level Up on Steam? Here's How the Pros Do It

Lindsay Hayes

You can easily level your Steam profile up by crafting badges - you'll gain a whopping 100 XP that'll help you get to the next level. But you'll need to collect the required trading cards first (more on this later). Apart from crafting badges, you can also gain points by buying new games and doing community tasks.

My friend who recently got into Steam wanted to know how to level up fast - he said being stuck at level 3 made him feel like a newb. So, I told him how to craft badges, and thought about telling you how to do this, and more.


How to Level Up on Steam?

There are a few different ways that you can level your Steam account up.

Player with Black Headphones Playing Live Game on Laptop

Method 1: Crafting Badges

When it comes to badge crafting, there actually are two routes that you can take. One of them focuses on playing games, and collecting trading cards, while the other is collecting event badges.

1. Play Games & Do Badge Crafting

You can craft badges by collecting trading cards, and then forge them together. These trading cards are random items - they pop up on games for no specific reason. Now, each Steam title has specific trading cards that you can get.

Once you've collected them all, you'll be able to combine them into your badge and get 100 XP too. This is a lot of points, considering that buying games only gives you 1 XP point. Plus, from level 1-10, you only need 100 XP to level up.

Here's how you can check what trading cards you have:

In case you're stuck and not able to get all the required trading cards, Steam actually lets you cheat a bit. From the Badges page, there's a 'Buy Remaining Cards' option.

You'll be taken to the Steam marketplace, where you can pay real money for the specific game cards that you want. They're not that expensive - only a couple of cents (in USD).

Most Steam games only have 1 badge that you can craft, but they usually can be upgraded 5 times. To keep upgrading them, you'll need to re-collect the badge's set, 5 more times. You'll get a 100 XP each time you upgrade.

Also, there are even special foil cards that will help you forge special badges that are shiny.

2. Event Badges (For Steam SALES)

Steam tends to host events, like big winter sales, and collaborations with streamers. What's nice is that they release trading cards for these events and you can then forge into badges. To get these cards, you'll have to take part in the events, so you'll have to buy specific expansion packs or games.

You can find out whether a specific event badge is available by going to the Badges page, and then scrolling down and checking for anything new. If there is an event badge and you click on it, you should see all the trading cards that you'll need.

Male Player Playing Game Using RGB Keyboard

Method 2: Purchasing Games from the Steam Store

Instead of trying to craft badges, you can try and gain experience/XP by buying games. You'll get some XP out of it. But the thing is, it's not that much - only around 1 XP per new title. This is true even for more expensive AAA games.

If you're wondering, yes, you'll get XP even when you use credit from your Steam wallet to buy titles (after redeeming a gift card).

Here's how you can buy Steam games:

Method 3: Work on Steam Community Achievements

The third way that you can gain XP is by achieving community tasks. Basically, you'll have to do a bunch of things to your account, and once they've been done, you get points and a free community badge. In total, you can get up to 500 XP.

They're nothing too hard, like posting a screenshot, adding someone to your friends' list, and adding a title to your wish list.

To find these tasks, go to the Badges page that I mentioned earlier, then click on Community Badge.

Method 4: Grow Your Account

Last but not least, you can level up by just having your account for a while. Steam rewards users with 50 XP for each year that they've been on the platform. Along with the free points, you also get a cool badge for each year that you've been on.

Why Should You Level Up on Steam?

There are a few benefits to leveling up your Steam account, and I've divided them for you below.

1. Friends List Capacity

With each new level, you get 5 more friend slots added to your Steam profile. It's currently capped at 250 for level 1, but you can keep adding more to it, as mentioned.

2. Profile Customizations

You will get 1 showcase slot for every 10 levels that you reach. Basically, a showcase slot is a special opening on your profile that you can pin important photos or achievements to. I've used mine for a video of my best gameplay in Overwatch.

3. Show Off

I know a lot of Steam users who like to level up their Steam profile just to flex. It tells their friends that they're a pro gamers.

Man Playing Live PC Game at Gaming Hub

Is There a Maximum Steam Level?

Technically, there is no maximum limit to the Steam level that you can right. However, the highest anyone has ever gotten was level 5001 by user St4ck.


Answered below are some popular questions.

1. How Much Does it Cost to Level Up on Steam?

The answer depends on the specific route that you want to take. You can easily level up by waiting for trading card drops, and doing community tasks - they don't cost a thing.

However, I have to mention that you can always buy booster packs and any trading cards that you might miss. You will have to pay for them in cash. But they're not that expensive.

2. Do Free Games Give Steam XP?

No, you do not usually get XP from downloading free games: you'll only get points if they were paid games that you won as a giveaway. But if it's any consolation, there regularly are Steam sales that let games go for really cheap. You definitely can get XP from buying these titles.

Speaking of getting games for free, yes, you will get XP when you use gift cards to buy games.

Read more resources

Final Thoughts

You can level up on Steam by doing a bunch of different things. But personally, I think that unlocking badges is the best route that you can take. You will need to collect a set of random cards, and then craft them to unlock the badge. For each badge, you gain 100 XP which will help you bump your Steam level.

But instead of going with badges, you can purchase more games, or try and upgrade your Steam profile by doing various tasks focused on customization.

Hopefully, you found all of the points that were run through useful and are able to boost your Steam levels.

Lindsay Hayes

Hi, I’m Lindsay, a techie from Kansas City. That’s right; I’m a born and bred Midwesterner. I learned to take electronics apart at my dad’s GameStop way back when, and I haven’t stopped since. I spend most of my time checking out new gadgets.
Related posts
Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. CPU Forever is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon (.com,, .ca etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Copyright 2024 CPU Forever, all rights reserved.